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The secret party boat docked on Newtown Creek is no more. Last week, fire officials shut down the illegal live/party/work space and cited the residents onboard for living on an abandoned vessel.

The boat, docked in Bushwick, was vacated by firefighters Friday after a tip that people were illegally on board. Photo: NYC OEM via WABC New York

The New York Post: A group of hipsters living on a ferry converted to a squatter-style crash pad — and floating off Brooklyn — has been booted by FDNY officials.

Ten artists who had set up a Jacuzzi on the boat’s massive deck were ordered to pack up their paintings aboard the craft in Maspeth Creek in Williamsburg on Friday, sources said. Authorities cited them for living on an abandoned vessel.

Photo by Jaya Saxena via Gothamist

The drifters had rigged electricity and a makeshift plumbing system in the four-floor, 145-foot-long boat, which sometimes hosted all-night parties in the industrial area, sources familiar with the situation said.

The denizens built bedrooms and paid to dock the boat at 190 Morgan Ave., sources said.

Photo by Jaya Saxena via Gothamist

Built in 1978, the 650-passenger ferry, dubbed the Schamonchi, had hauled tourists from New Bedford, Mass., to Martha’s Vineyard on $17 round trips for years.

Photo by Jaya Saxena via Gothamist

By 2007, five residents had begun docking the vessel in New York City waterways, where they fashioned a swing on the tennis-court-sized deck and sometimes threw bonfire parties.

The property at 190 Morgan, where the boat is docked, is listed as belonging to the firm Mega Fortune. The firm’s owner said she hadn’t given the boat’s residents permission to dock there. Read more here…

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

Pier 17. Most of us have little love for the hulking shopping mall filled with I heart NY buttons and spiral neon straws that sits on Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport. Most locals rarely enter the space unless they are looking for the restrooms. But some will sorely miss that old, red barn.

Naima Rauam, long-time WHC member and friend, has painted in her studio on the 2nd floor of the behemoth mall since 2005, and has lived and worked in the seaport district for more than 30 years. Now, she has to move.

Naima Rauma, Maritime Artist.
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Downtown Express: Artist Naima Rauam has been painting and sometimes living in the South Street Seaport for 30 years, but now it’s time to say good-bye. Pier 17, where she has had a studio since 2005, will close on Sept. 9 prior to being torn down. Rauam’s gallery on the second floor of Pier 17 will also close.

Pier 17. Photo: ©Nathan Kensinger/Curbed

Curbed: Hidden on the second floor of this building is one of the neighborhood’s last living connections to the South Street Seaport’s past. Her name is Naima Rauam, and she has been documenting the history of the Seaport for over 45 years through her paintings and drawings. “I came here in 1966 as an arts student,” said Rauam, who has maintained a studio in the mall since 2005.

With a panoramic view of the Brooklyn Bridge, she is able to paint while looking out over a neighborhood that is currently stuck in a post-Sandy limbo. A neighborhood that has changed irrevocably in the past decade, and that will soon change again thanks to her landlord, The Howard Hughes Corporation.

The Fulton Market Building (right) remains empty, after being severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Photo: ©Nathan Kensinger/Curbed

Rauam and all of the tenants of Pier 17 have until September 9 to close down their businesses. Then the building will be shuttered in preparation for its demolition. “I am on the verge of leaving the neighborhood and am kind of in shock,” said Rauam. “Unfortunately, because of all the storm damaged buildings, I can’t find a space.”

Still shuttered a year after the storm. Photo: ©Nathan Kensinger/Curbed

The newer section of the Fulton Fish Market was built in 1939 and is located next to the Pier 17 mall. Photo: ©Nathan Kensinger/Curbed

“Before Sandy hit, we were the most bustling, up-and-coming neighborhood.” says Amanda Zink owner of The Salty Paw on Peck Slip. Photo: ©Nathan Kensinger/Curbed

Downtown Express: The windows of Rauam’s gallery on Pier 17 frame the Brooklyn Bridge, which has inspired some of her recent work. After Pier 17 closes down, Rauam will be working from her apartment on the Lower East Side.

Two Naima Rauam paintings of the Fulton Fish Market. Photo: ©Nathan Kensinger/Curbed

“I don’t have a sense of where to go so I don’t think it’s going to benefit me just to go someplace at random,” she said. “I looked at studio space last week and I went inside and I said, you know, this has no connection to me. I don’t feel anything. There’s no reason for me to be here. I could be here or in Brooklyn or the Bronx or in Kansas. I don’t just want to stumble into a space that may or may not work. I want to finish my Seaport work at home. I have some commissions to do — and then see what kind of new direction I want to take.”

Pier 17 replacement. Rendering: Howard Hughes Corp /SHoP Architects via Capital NY

Curbed: The entire mall will be closed on September 9th and emptied for a “complete renovation,” according to the Howard Hughes Corporation. Their new mall is scheduled to open in 2015.

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

Photo via Hoboken Patch

Farewell Hoboken, hello Brooklyn! Yankee Ferry has left her Hoboken home to take up berth in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The historic steel-hulled passenger ferry turned private home and bed & breakfast, lost her Pier 12 dock this week, after months of negotiation with the City of Hoboken.

Sea Wolf escorts Yankee Ferry across the Hudson.
Photo via Hoboken Patch

Hoboken Patch: The historic Yankee Ferry, the last surviving Ellis Island ferry and an attraction for tourists around the world, departed Hoboken Tuesday after being unable to reach a docking agreement with the city.

The one-of-a-kind 106-year-old ferry-turned-houseboat that’s attracted the attention of residents, tourists and television show producers since docking in Hoboken seven years ago left town Tuesday.

SS Machigonne (later renamed Yankee), date unknown, but probably from the 1910s or 1920s. Photo: Navsource Online via Wikipedia

Yankee Ferry, a steel-hulled passenger ferry with a remarkable history that includes stints as a Navy-commissioned transport ship during World War I and II, and an Ellis Island immigrant ferry and Statue of Liberty tour boat in the 1920s, was tugged from Pier 12 to her new home across the Hudson in Red Hook, Brooklyn, as crew members perched atop the ship’s deck crooned farewells and waved to supporters below.

Photo: Paul Takahashi via

“It’s a total loss for Hoboken,” said resident Colleen Castle, one of about 40 well-wishers who saw Yankee off just after 5 p.m. “It’s something you’re never going to see again.”

Farewell Hoboken. Photo via Yankee Ferry facebook page

After spending its first six years in the Mile Square City docked at a private pier in the Shipyard Marina, Yankee relocated two piers south to city-owned Pier 12 on a temporary emergency basis following Superstorm Sandy.

Owners Richard and Victoria MacKenzie-Childs. Photo: Norman Y. Lono via NY Daily News

Yankee crewmember and manager Josh Rasp said the ship’s owners, artists Richard and Victoria Mackenzie-Childs, had hoped to work out a permanent arrangement to keep the ship in Hoboken, but a deal could not be struck. Yankee received an eviction notice from the city in April, followed by a verbal notification in June that it had to vacate the pier within days.

Rasp said the crew was devastated by the news because they really wanted to stay.

Photo via Yankee Ferry facebook page

Rasp said they’d had trouble finding another spot to stay because of the ship’s age, size and the general lack of space available for docking ships near New York City, but that recent discussions with the owner of a pier in Red Hook, Brooklyn had been fruitful.

“We should be in Red Hook and hopefully we can be in a new place where we can really flourish and provide to the community over there,” Read more here…

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee

Aerial view of damage to the Great Kills Marina area. photo: NPS/Cunningham

Nichols Marina’s 350 floating slips were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, and now boaters have been told that the National Parks Service has refused to renew the lease that would allow the marina operators to rebuild.

The NPS owns the marina which they lease to Marinas of the Future Inc., an operator that oversees and maintains Great Kills Park in the Gateway National Recreation Area. Marinas of the Future wants to rebuild the docks, but as the NPS site notes: Hurricane Sandy destroyed all docks at the Great Kills Marina, so marina services for the 2013 summer season are not possible.

Nichols Marina at Great Kills Park is gone. Boat owners may store boats by at the park until April 15, 2013. photo: NPS/Dennis Bosak

Although the marina lost all of its floating slips during the storm, most of the pilings remain. Marina management reports that the bulkhead and infrastructure were not badly damaged and that their office facilities, restrooms and equipment are all in working order.

From the Staten Island Advance: “The fact that we’re even having this fight is ridiculous,” said Rep. Michael Grimm, an avid supporter of the cause who attended yesterday’s rally with more than 100 other boaters. “It will be devastating to the boating community if the National Parks Service doesn’t allow them to rebuild.”

Because the private community has offered to pay the costs to rebuild, Grimm said the National Park Service’s stance doesn’t make any sense. “That marina helps to drive the local economy. The National Parks Service needs to recognize the value of this marina.”

Docks at Nichols Marina in Great Kills. photo: Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel

On Sunday, boaters rallied to express their frustration and sadness over the National Parks decision.

From WPIX11: “This place is like family to me. Where else will I put my boat? “I’ve been hanging out here for 12 years with my friends,” Pete Palermo of Staten Island said. “Where else would I go?”

Palermo gets teary-eyed when he and his buddies talk about what the Nichols Great Kills Park Marina means to them.

“It’s like family to me,”

All 350 boats will have to be removed by April 15. photo: WPIX11

The current leaseholder, the Marinas of the Future, have been told they have no future here. The National Park Service said all boats have to be removed by April 15.

by Mai Armstrong for Working Harbor Committee

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